The East Side Debate

Transcript for the debate between Lindzen, Stott and Crichton versus Somerville, Schmidt and Ekurzwei on the motion “Global Warming is Not Crisis” is transcript online here. mp3 here

Entry and exit polls were taken and the Lindzen et al side – in a minority prior to the debate – was in a majority after the debate.

Gavin Schmidt reports on the debate here, complaining that they lost to more accomplished debaters and that his side was “pretty dull”, offering “drier fare”:

I’m afraid the actual audience (who by temperament I’d say were split roughly half/half on the question) were apparently more convinced by the entertaining narratives from Crichton and Stott (not so sure about Lindzen) than they were by our drier fare. Entertainment-wise it’s hard to blame them. Crichton is extremely polished and Stott has a touch of the revivalist preacher about him. Comparatively, we were pretty dull.

Jean S pointed out some of Gavin’s debating style which is worth repeating here:

GAVIN SCHMIDT – ….So any change that there might have been because of cosmic ray impacts on climate, cant possibly have an impact on whats been going on—

PHILIP STOTT The most famous—

GAVIN SCHMIDT —in the last changes.

PHILIP STOTT But the most famous astrophysicist working on it say that it has.


In terms of my own position, I would be in the part of the audience that would have entered the hall undecided. I still don’t have an opinion on whether there is a crisis or not. I am still prepared to allow for the possibility that there is a real problem and that one should not be put off by the annoyingness of the Team. The Team has gotten used to ad hom arguments. Here is Team ad homs reduced to its lowest common denominator. The audience must have found this as repugnant as we do.

It’s interesting to examine Gavin Schmidt’s characterization of the NAS Report, which the Team is spinning as some sort of vindication for Mann. See the following exchange at page 50:

LINDZEN: … You [Schmidt] say, the earth has been warmer—is warmer now than it has been for 1300 years. The national academy evaluating this said, the methodology was no use beyond 400 years. Why do you make this statement. You keep on quoting these groups, and when they disagree with them, you make up the quote.

GAVIN SCHMIDT I—Ive gotta say that one, one thing at a time—

BRIAN LEHRER Gavin Schmidt—

GAVIN SCHMIDT —lets deal with that. The National Academy of Science report said that we have good evidence that were warmer from 400 years ago, we have credible evidence that were warmer from 900—

RICHARD S. LINDZEN No, they did not—

GAVIN SCHMIDT Yes they did, Richard, please— [LAUGHTER]


GAVIN SCHMIDT Read the reports before—

RICHARD S. LINDZEN —front end—the front end said—

GAVIN SCHMIDT Read the—read more than the front page, Richard—

RICHARD S. LINDZEN No, Im saying the text, said it was not credible beyond 400 years—

GAVIN SCHMIDT Thats not what it—thats not what it said—

RICHARD C.J. SOMERVILLE Moreover, moreover—

BRIAN LEHRER Right, well, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait—

GAVIN SCHMIDT I can tell you why its not—

BRIAN LEHRER Were into ‘€•he said’€–-‘€•he said.’€– But— [LAUGHTER] But Gavin Schmidt, you seem to suggest that the other side does not have a real scientific argument, but a culturally or politically constructed one. You dont think theyre sincere?

GAVIN SCHMIDT Thats a very difficult question. I think—I— no, I, I do think that theyre sincere—

BRIAN LEHRER You as much as said it.

GAVIN SCHMIDT I dont think that they are completely…doing this on a level playing field that the people here will understand. And, there are… AUDIENCE MEMBERS [MOANS, VOICES, ETC.]

BRIAN LEHRER Well… [OVERLAPPING VOICES] explain yourself, because—wait a minute—

GAVIN SCHMIDT No, let me—let me explain, explain that—

BRIAN LEHRER Because they have larger cultural or political agendas?

GAVIN SCHMIDT No, um, I have no idea what their political or cultural agendas are, and to be frank Im not very interested.

PHILIP STOTT Im left-wing and have no money whatsoever from any oil company—


PHILIP STOTT —and I wouldnt.

GAVIN SCHMIDT Thats fine. [LAUGHTER, APPLAUSE] Thats fine. But Im, Im—


GAVIN SCHMIDT —Im not interested in your motivations—



PHILIP STOTT —[INAUDIBLE] has interests.

BTW Schmidt also stated the following:

Scientists have to be professional skeptics, right, they are trained not to take new information at face value, they have to ask where measurements come from and what they could possibly mean.

All I’ve ever done is “ask where measurements come from and what they could possibly mean”. And look what the reaction of the Team has been.

Update: Schmidt has posted on another thread that he said “wrong” and not “drunk”, which, in fairness, seems a more likely thing for him to say. I guess, if Gavin says that Shaviv is “wrong”, the matter is settled and we can all move on to something else – like asking where measurements come from or what bristlecone ring widths could possibly mean.


  1. Armin
    Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 8:40 AM | Permalink

    I’ve been following RealClimate and ClimateAudite for some time now, and all the time I must, indeed, restrain myself to – as Steve McIntyre – puts it so nicely, not to be put off by the annoyingness of the Team. They seem to treat everybody not on their side as having hidden agenda’s or even being pure idiots. Still their discussions and references to articles are often worth investigating.

  2. crosspatch
    Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 9:09 AM | Permalink

    I think this points out what it has come to, at least here in the US. It is a marketing campaign. It is about how many people “believe”, not about truth. It is about a crab for cash and if they can convince you there is a problem, then an industry is born with gobs of public funding to address it.

    They will fight tooth and nail to get that funding.

  3. Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 9:57 AM | Permalink

    I was going to make some remark but suddenly I realized that would be “practicing meteorology without a license”.

  4. Sudha Shenoy
    Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    I’ve just been through the transcript — & all I could get from the AGW types was: ‘Repent, for the end is nigh’; ‘The sky is falling’. Not a smidgin of the possibility that they might just (just) be a little wrong… When have scientific conclusions _ever_ been as absolute as they assert? And on something so complex as the entire global climate? I’m a complete non-scientist, & even so, alarm bells kept going off in my mind. It was indeed the ‘sceptics’ who came across as scientists — i.e., people who could accept the possibility of being wrong.

    There’s definitely something not right here: Why, if the AGW lot are scientists, do they have to keep asserting the absolute truth of what they’re saying? It was perfectly obvious that every single one of their assertions _was_ under question — _scientific_ question…

    I _don’t_ like the way things are going. _Huge_ changes are being instituted on the basis that We Now Have The Absolute Scientific Truth.

  5. John A
    Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

    There is a crisis but not in the future course of climate.

    The crisis is in the authority and credibility of science as a conduit of rational knowledge about the Universe, and the way that that authority has been subverted and perverted for political ends in climate science.

    The crisis in climate science has been first and foremost a near total collapse of scientific ethics in the conduct by the Team in the performance of their responsibilities. Therein is the catastrophe both in the present and in the future because of the loss of confidence that science will suffer as a result when (and not if) the future trajectory of the Earth’s climate fails to follow the predictions of the modern-day Delphic Oracles.

    It also represents a most dangerous path – for science without ethics is the most dangerous weapon mankind has ever created.

    What I fear is not simply what will happen when the Greenhouse Bubble bursts for the prestige and authority of all of science, but what scheme of irrationalism and intolerance will rush into the vacuum to replace it.

  6. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

    Somerville said:

    You dont dismiss your doctors advice, because she hasnt solved all the diseases. And I think the same is true of climate science today.

    This comment is fair enough. But the trouble is that climate scientists all too often do not observe professional standards. For example, the NAS report said that strip-bark (bristlecones/foxtails) should be avoided in temperature reconstructions. They then proceeded to illustrate and use reconstructions that used bristlecones/foxtails without making any due diligence to determine whether these reconstructions used the proxies that they said should be avoided. Compare that to an engineer who said that sub-standard concrete should be avoided in bridge design and then submitted 4 designs all using sub-standard concrete. He’d lose his licence.

    Climate scientists don’t like engineering-level scrutiny but that’s what happens if you’re a “professional”.

  7. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

    I’m unable to load realclimate. Anyone else having this problem?

  8. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 10:51 AM | Permalink

    re: #6

    Yes, Somerville’s comment is fair enough. But the response is so obvious I’m surprised he left himself open:

    “No, you don’t dismiss your doctor’s opinion. You ask for a second opinion.” And I’ll add that doesn’t mean going to a doctor your present doctor recommends. You try to find an independent doctor.

    Finally, Gavin put in a plug for As long as the warmers refuse to link to I refuse to trust a word they say. “Give me the phone-number of your ex, dear, and then I’ll marry you.”

  9. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 11:19 AM | Permalink

    re: #7

    Yes, it gives me some sort of database error. Oh well, why should ClimateAudit be the only ones to have that sort of headache? Or perhaps it’s just that since Gavin posted here on unthreaded 6, it created a tele-connection to and produced eddies in the space-time continuum and….

  10. JerryB
    Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

    RE #7,


    I just linked to RC and got it without any problem.

  11. L Nettles
    Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

    Realclimate shows up for me.

  12. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 11:32 AM | Permalink

    Paul R. Johnson, in his iconoclatic book “Intellectuals” gave a good warning to us all, about what can happen when science and rationalism are perverted by ideological considerations and utopianism. Most telling was his highly specific advice to never allow those with such agendas to get anywhere near the levers of power. It may be too late ….

  13. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

    #10,11. It looks like something weird happened at the cable company. My email worked and I connected to John A on Skype but the internet connections were down. After I posted this, my connection to CA went down as well.

  14. MarkW
    Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 12:38 PM | Permalink

    We got something weird going on again with the posts.

  15. esceptico
    Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

    I can’t say I’m outraged. Other people do worse. Of course, there are many mathematicians who are more or less honest. But almost all of them are conformists. They are more or less honest, but they tolerate those who are not honest.

    Grisha Perelman (Fields Medal)

  16. Martin à…
    Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

    #6 If the doctor gave me a medicine tested only through computer simulations of the humand body and with no real life testing, I for sure wouldn’t trust it. Medicine is like 10% theoretical science and 90% trial and error. Thats why this analogy is so wrong (or actually quite good).

    We know a whole lot about many functions in the human body, but we are still not able to give the cure for cancer. We don’t even know if too much vitamin A is good or bad for you.

  17. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

    Just finished reading the “debate”. Of course, it wasn’t a scientific debate per se. Gavin is right that the same arguments were brought up, but of course by both sides. As far as I know, “argument from authority” is also a logical fallacy and it was used over and over again by Somerville as well as Schmidt.

    I’m on the side of Michael Crichton, though, not for the science, but for what is a crisis. AIDS in Africa is a crisis, Darfour is a crisis, Iraq is a crisis, Malaria is an ongoing crisis that prevents many African countries from moving forward. My sister who practices as a doctor in Mali for one month a year says that because most of the people there have either malaria or anemia, they’re just too weak to be productive the way we are. That’s a crisis. If we had the same here, we would be in real trouble too.

    Now is climate change a crisis? No. Nobody has died from climate change so far. And don’t talk to me about heat waves or Katrina, as they could have happened without any extra CO2. Katrina would not have been a crisis if the levees had held.

    Climate change COULD trigger a crisis, or rather multiple local crisis over the next 100 years. Whatever criticisms we may have about the science, it remains a possibility. Does that mean we should be hysterical about reducing CO2 now? Or simply do nothing about it? The answer, I believe, is as usual in the middle. I think we should continue to work hard on the science. No, it is NOT settled. But we should also monitor the situation closely, and make sure we’re not caught with our pants down if things get really bad. But in all likelihood, this won’t happen overnight. If we could approach this problem rationally and serenely, without all the shrill of environmentalists, we would find the proper course of action. Now it’s really difficult, there’s just too much noise.

    That being said, it would have been interesting to have a real “scientific” debate, with scientists on both sides. Say, Hansen and Schmidt, and, why not, our very own Judith on one side, and Lindzen, Solanki, Christy, on the other. Why not add Phil Jones on one side, and Steve McIntyre on the other. Now THAT would be interesting!

  18. fFreddy
    Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    Re #16, Martin à…

    If the doctor gave me a medicine tested only through computer simulations of the humand body and with no real life testing, I for sure wouldn’t trust it. Medicine is like 10% theoretical science and 90% trial and error.

    1. Medical trials for new drugs have some pretty severe statistical trials.
    2. If anyone doesn’t do the trials properly, there is likely to be a whole lot of suing.
    Compare and contrast with climatology …

  19. John Baltutis
    Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 5:19 PM | Permalink

    Slightly OT

    “The post-normal’ science of climate change” at in response to,,2032821,00.html

  20. Reid
    Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 6:36 PM | Permalink

    I sense a disturbance in the force…

    The Great Global Warming Swindle documentary on British Channel 4 TV.
    The NY Times article criticizes Gore for alarmism.
    The Alarmists vs. Skeptics debate in New York is won decisively by the Skeptics.

    all in 1 week? Seems like the consensus paradigm is under mainstream assault. It’s about time!

    I would like to see Michael Crichton go on a public relations blitz. He is the perfect anti-Gore.

  21. John Reid
    Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 6:48 PM | Permalink

    I find myself in agreement with most of the comments on this thread, particularly with John A and Francois Ouellette.

    IMHO the key to whether a scientific discipline is rigorous or sloppy depends on the degree of public and legal exposure it gets. Pharmacology and medicine generally have had a high degree of public exposure for many decades. We all get sick and we all take drugs and we expect them to work.

    Climate research on the other hand has been very much an ivory tower activity and could get by with some very sloppy thinking and statistical methodology. Climate research papers were only ever read by other climate researchers and providing you genuflected in the right directions you were published. Over the last 20 years the discipline has been thrust onto center stage but the methodology or lack thereof has not changed. The sloppy methods and unsupported fads and myths are there for all the world to see.

    Its about time they got their act together.


  22. tom
    Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

    RE #17

    I concur with much of what you say, however as far as their still being the
    potential for a climate crisis based on a CO2 forcing of a temperture change
    of say 1.5C in a century, where is the evidence this would create a crisis?
    Climate and meteorlogical events are in constant flux. It’s redundant having to
    write the phrase. In light of earth’s past history it can be argued it has been
    as much as 2-3C warmer in the recent geological past (6000yrs) all by ‘natural’
    flucuations. We, as a human race can adapt. That is what we do whether the change
    is natural or anthropogenic.

    The methodology of assessing this metric we call a ‘Global Mean Temperature’
    is in question. The claims being made in reponse to this highly suspect metric
    are questionable.

    -Sea levels have been rising at a nearly steady, linear rate of between 1-3mm/yr for
    -The noise that makes up weather variablility/storminess etc… is so great as to
    detect an AGW signal from it is nearly impossible today.
    -The measurement of a GMT is highly questionable, past and present but the effort
    is not totally futile as some general trends/magnitudes can be statistically made.
    -Changes in temperature and temperature rates of change have been greater in earth’s
    past history without the potential effects of anthropogenic CO2 changes. But
    there is no direct calculation that can be tested, measured, falsified that
    absolutely describes the relationship between CO2 concentrations and a GMT and
    certainly not a local temperature.

  23. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 10:42 PM | Permalink

    I linked to the realclimate on the Debate in the above post. Technorati lists links here but not the CA link (although CA is listed at Technorati in good standing.)

  24. Posted Mar 16, 2007 at 11:41 PM | Permalink

    Re: 21

    Your comments about scrutiny’€”or lack thereof’€”and the laxness it leads to in science is right on in my experience. I was a geologist for many years (in mining exploration) and then became a lawyer for many more (even worked on a case with John Hekman). As a geologist, speculation was okay and the logic could be loose. The drill proved or disproved the theories. As a lawyer, if your logic or facts weren’t right, the other side let you know about it and the judge and jury put you in your place. One made sure they were right before they were rolled out. After finishing with the law, I went back to geology’€”geology of the scientific sort. I have been astounded at what passes for science in published papers. The rankest speculation by “authorities” is accepted without question’€”especially if it was made years ago. Crucial conflicts (similar to which came first, CO2 or warming) are regularly ignored. It is as if logic is unimportant. From all I have seen, this is where the Team and their ilk seem to be coming from. A sad state for sure.

    Eric Twelker

  25. Vinny Burgoo
    Posted Mar 17, 2007 at 8:09 AM | Permalink

    Re #20 and a tipping point in the AGW debate, today the Royal Meteorological Society is launching a briefing document, Making Sense of the Weather and Climate, that, among other things, accuses climate scientists of overplaying the doom and gloom. See and

  26. Posted Mar 17, 2007 at 9:20 AM | Permalink

    “Listen, its, its fun to hear other people practicing meteorology without a license”

    I remember hearing this sort of argument before. About 1980 there was a UC paleotologist who responded to the Alvarez evidence and analysis of the K-T extinctions by saying, “Who do you think knows more about dinosaurs, real paleotologists or these physicists?”

    Subsequent evidence has answered his question and the paleontologists are still indignant

  27. Posted Mar 17, 2007 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

    I was hoping for more commentary on the reports of ice core data which suggests that CO2 levels lag behind temperatures by several hundred years. Low resolution ice core studies (used by Al Gore and other advocates) show a graph which shows a correlation between CO2 and temperature. This is implied as proof that increases in CO2 causes these increases in temperature. However, there are two or three independent high resolution studies which show that the temperature increases precede the CO2 increases by several hundred years. The existence of a lag time is significant in this debate for the following reasons:

    It refutes the claim that this correlation is proof that increases in CO2 concentration will cause significant increases in global temperature. (We have no historical evidence of temperature increases initiated by increases in CO2 concentration.)
    It is consistent with the idea that variations in CO2 concentration play a minor role in climate change, and merely follow global temperature trends.
    It (arguably) does not concretely prove that modern increases in CO2 are insignificant, but it does refute a prominent talking point used by AGW advocates. I think that this is a significant fact in this debate if the data stands.

    During the debate, Gavin made the following statement which was never challenged:

    (from page 25 in transcript): And every time you hear theres a lag between carbon dioxide and temperature in the ice cores, give yourself two points because thats a real doosy.

    What did he mean by this? Does he now believe that the results that show an 800 year lag are bogus? I’m open minded if someone wants to argue that an apparent lag may actually be an artifact due to the differing trapping mechanisms between CO2 and oxygen isotopes. However, I didn’t see any such arguments in a recent search of the realclimate site. What I did see was a repeat of an old argument that the lagging CO2 provided feedback to warming that was initiated by something else. Theoretically, the increased CO2 could increase the temperature further, or maybe extend the length of the warm period, but this data by itself shows zero proof that the effect of increased CO2 was significant. Realclimate’s argument sounds weak to me. It certainly doesn’t sound like a “doosy”. Maybe I’m missing something?

    I may submit this question to realclimate, but other posters have essentially asked the same thing and were answered with condescension.

    Does anyone here any more information on this issue? Also, does anyone have the references to the articles which show the lag time? I seem to remember one study showing ~400 year lag and another showing ~800 year lag.


  28. dan
    Posted Mar 17, 2007 at 3:04 PM | Permalink

    Who was correct, Lindzen or Schmidt, about what the National Academy of Science report said as to length of the warming period 400 or 1300 years?

  29. bernie
    Posted Mar 17, 2007 at 3:32 PM | Permalink

    As you will see because the NAS decided not to make waves they both are correct about what NAS said – because believe it or not the NAS said both things. The chapter on Statistics, however, is devastating and it is hard for me to see how they did not just require everyone to be more forthcoming with their data. You can read the report by downloading the PDF at

  30. paul m
    Posted Mar 17, 2007 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

    Quality of debate

    I know that Steve is concerned about keeping to the science and maintaining an open mind but we have to measure this against what the AGW alarmists say and do.

    Th East Side debate

    So far but my impression is that the pro AGW team did not attemt any real scientific debate. We heard about the 2,500 scientists and the global consensus plus some emotional appeal. I think we should ask Real Climate or the UK Environment minister David Miliband to produce this list. Somerville cited 30,000 deaths from the 2003 heatwave, a classic piece of misrepresenation. Why didn’t he mention the deaths from the cold in winter.

    There was the reference to consulting your doctor. Well in the medical profession, we have some excellent examples of the kind of science practice by Schmidt in Cholesterol/Diet/CHD. There is a consensus that Cholesterol, especially ‘bad’ C causes CHD and that it can be moderated by diet or should be reduced by drugs. This is repeated ad nauseam by everyone from eminent cardiologists to the media. Yet it is based upon the defective 7 nation study by Ancel Keys. Mr Keys adopted the simple expedient of ignoring all the evidence that contradicted his theory as have virtually all papers on the subject since then. That or they were quietly filed if they gave the wrong result.

    The pity with the debate is that in the end it descended into ya boo territory but at least it was a start. Oh and one of the AGW brigade decried the global cooling of the 1970s.

    More chinks in the armour?

    Today we had two scientists, Collier and Hardacre from the Royal Meteorological Society saying that the more extreme AGW predictions were far too alarmist. Yet when Collier appeared this morning on Radio 4’s Today programme, he was equivocal and criticised the Great Climate Swindle but just could not bring himself to say that the doomsayers were right. Of course the BBC had a countepoint from Greenpeace, maintaining their usual objectivity. I can’t remember his name but he had the temerity to describe GCS as “junk science”. You can listen again by going to

    The GCS

    StiLl causing a stir. CAers might like to comment on one exchange between Armand Leroi, Reader in Evolutionary Developmental Biology at Imperial Colleg London and Durkin. AL said of the Fris-Christensen time series correllations between solar activity and terrestial temperatures since 1860, that he had discovered a series of “shocking and convicing” scholarly papers arguing that the F-C data were “wrong and may have been deliberately faked”. (Unknown activity amongst AGW paleo reconstructionists as we know). Durkin apparently replied to AL saying “You’re a big daft cock”. This is already being carried elsewhere and was the subject of some “comedy” on the BBC Radio 4’s Now show – listen again but only the last 10 minutes as it is all pretty weak.

    GCS -Thoughts of David Miliband as appearing in Friday’s (16 March 07)London Evening Standard

    GCS – Recent high temps not unique
    DM – The rapid warming of the past 50 years has resulted in a level of warmth not seen in the last 50 years. It is global whilst previous warm periods have occurred over small areas ( He’s obviously been there!)

    GCS- CO2 lags temp
    DM – This is not the key eveidence. Basic physics says a rise in greenhouse gases will warm the climate. Now the humans are causing the rise and therefore the resultant climatic warming.

    GCS- Most 20th century warming occured before 1940 when CO2 emissions were relatively low.
    DM -Wrong.0.04C of the 0.074 increase has occured since around 1970. Global Temperatures have risen almost continuously since 1950. ( He can measure the increase to 0.004!)

    GCS – Human emissions are a tiny fraction of total natural emissions.
    DM- But natural emissions from ecosystems and the oceans are in balance:the amount emitted is then reabsorbed.

    GCS- Natural factors e.g. solar irradiance have driven change in the past and are driving it now.
    DM- It is very unlikley (does that mean IPCC 4SPM “very likely” that is not very likely) they alone are responsible. The warming effects of changes in solar output are less than around a 10th of human emissions.

    Of course these may have been paraphrased and I suspect were written by someone else but this bloke is in change of our economy destroying Climate Change Act

    Best wishes.

    Paul M

  31. John A
    Posted Mar 17, 2007 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

    Re #27

    Does anyone here any more information on this issue? Also, does anyone have the references to the articles which show the lag time? I seem to remember one study showing ~400 year lag and another showing ~800 year lag.

    Yes. The late John Daly pointed out just such a study:
    with this graphic:

  32. Posted Mar 17, 2007 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

    re: #28, I’d have to this one to Lindzen, but you judge for yourself. Gavin’s key quote is

    The National Academy of Science report said that… we have credible evidence that were warmer from 900’€”

    A word search in the NAS report on the word “credible” only gave one result and the context had nothing to do with the debate topic. Here is what I did find in the NAS report. This was first stated on page 3, and then repeated verbatim on pages 17 and 112.

    Less confidence can be placed in large-scale surface temperature reconstructions for the period from A.D. 900 to 1600. Presently available proxy evidence indicates that temperatures at many, but not all, individual locations were higher during the past 25 years than during any period of comparable length since A.D. 900. The uncertainties associated with reconstructing hemispheric mean or global mean temperatures from these data increase substantially backward in time through this period and are not yet fully quantified.

    The report definitely didn’t explicitly state that we have “credible evidence”. Maybe he’s saying that the statement above is equivalent.


  33. TAC
    Posted Mar 17, 2007 at 4:25 PM | Permalink

    dan (#28) and bernie (#29): To elaborate a bit, the NAS report states [p. 4; emphasis mine]:

    Based on the analyses presented in the original papers by Mann et al. and this newer supporting evidence, the committee finds it plausible that the Northern Hemisphere was warmer during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period over the preceding millennium. The substantial uncertainties currently present in the quantitative assessment of large-scale surface temperature changes prior to about A.D. 1600 lower our confidence in this conclusion compared to the high level of confidence we place in the Little Ice Age cooling and 20th century warming. Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that “the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium”…

    Clearly, we don’t know a lot about the average temperature of the Northern Hemisphere over the past millennium (even today, actually), so to say it is plausible that we’re now in a hot spell is not saying much.

    However, the NAS Report was really about techniques for reconstructing climate. In this area the Report is unambiguous: In chapters 9 and 11, where the Report considers Steve and Ross’s criticisms of the MBH98 methodology, it confirms Steve and Ross’s findings in essentially every case.

    It is therefore a bit surprising that Gavin would instruct anyone to “read more than the front page.”

  34. bernie
    Posted Mar 17, 2007 at 6:09 PM | Permalink

    I think TAC is correct and that Gavin confused “plausible” and “credible”. I guess my point is that the Committee assiduously avoided the stronger but equally reasonable conclusion that the HS and equivalent graphics was empirically unsubstantiated and should be dropped pending the resolution of the questions about the proxies and their use. Alas – they opted for the politic rather than the scientific.

  35. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Mar 18, 2007 at 8:59 AM | Permalink


    Gavin didn’t confuse the two. He was deliberately trying to “confuse” the audience.

    Plausible clearly means that as a hypothesis, it is not an outlandish claim that today might be warmer than the last millenium. For example, it would be outlandish to claim that we are now 10 degrees cooler than 1000 years ago. That would not be plausible, in other words it would not be a hypothesis worth talking about or investigating. But clearly the NAS conclusion is that the jury’s still out on that one. Had the NAS panel had more guts, it would have clearly stated that BOTH hypothesis (warmer and cooler) are plausible.

    #22, 23, 24

    There is a lot of “inconsequential sloppiness” in published science today. There are more than 1 million published peer-reviewed papers every year, more than 3000 every day! Scientists must “publish or perish”, and reviewers are overloaded. As a result, there is an endemic lack of quality overall. When I was a praticing scientist, it really frustrated me because I, too, had to take shortcuts to get the much needed “publications list”, key to future grants.

    But for most of it, it is “inconsequential”, because really nobody cares. When I moved to industry, the work had to be done much more seriously, because things HAD to work. I saw much better science done there than in academia, even though most of it goes unpublished. One company I worked for was way ahead of everything that was published in terms of technology and the science behind it.

    Climate science is just representative of the rest of academic science. In actual fact, because of the serious policy implications, we should NEVER rely on academic science. It just does not have the necessary quality control mechanisms to provide the best and most accurate answers, as Steve’s blog has amply demonstrated. What our governments maybe should do is set up independent institutes, hire the best minds in the field, making sure they have a variety of opinions to start with, and get them to work with the best tools and resources in the world, without any demand for publications, and NO interaction with the media! Having a few such institutes providing independent results with no outside interference would ensure that we would have much more objective opinions. This is not a universal recipe for all science. It is only required if a scientific issue has important public policy implications. Note that the IPCC is just NOT what I propose (in fact it is at the antipodes).

  36. Armin
    Posted Mar 19, 2007 at 5:01 AM | Permalink

    I forgot to properly introduce myself in the first post. I’ve a master degree in physics, but – as most of the climate enthusiast I guess – not actively involved anymore in climate science. Still, I do follow the debate as intense as I can by reading actual publications next to the regular and comparing the points raised by different sides. What strikes me the most about the CO2-issue is the discussion on the time lag of CO2 vs T.

    I agree with #35, that Gavin often on purpose tries to confuse audience. He also did so in the cosmic ray articles on Real Climate, by comparing satellite (not the land data they usually like so much) with one (!) CLIMAX measurement unit. Besides that CLIMAX measure – as I understood it – up to little under 13 GeV and therefore to low for the presumed effect (I’m not convinced myself yet), how would he would have reacted if someone used temperature of one location and compared that to a global measurement … Add the heavy smoothing and you either get sloppiness or deliberate misleading. But as expressed in #1, we should try to look past that as they do raise interesting points.

    I feel that the CO2-T lag is pretty much the same issue. Al Gore – and many others – push the CO2-T correlation as proof. Obviously it isn’t as there is a lag. The explanation for that is that something else causes warming, e.g. the sun, CO2 gets emitted from the oceans increasing the warming. This explains the lag. Gavin – as the rest on Real Climate – have refused to go deeper into this, because still a few questions remain. That’s sad, because what I fail to understand is then how the warming-trend stops. And I think I’m not the only one and it is a key issue. I’ll explain why I think so.

    Is it because the CO2-relation isn’t linear and therefore at a certain moment a new equilibrium occurs because the warming effect of more and more CO2 is becoming less? This regardless of what the initiator does at that moment. This would imply that to get the climate back to lower T’s would require a strong initiator to get it ‘through’ the CO2 forcing. This seems unlikely as it would mean it is easier to get T’s up than down.

    Or is it simply because the original initiator stops warming (and may even start cooling), and the CO2 at that moment therefore ‘returns’ to the oceans as the climate cools again. In the second case CO2 would only act as an amplifier to other effects. (Until now, where we push CO2 ourselves in the air, as Real Climate and others correctly point out – all assuming the above theory is correct.) This seems more plausible, and I got the feeling this is what the AWG-guys mean.

    But correct me if I miss the point.

    But now the issue. Obviously this CO2 as not the initiator, but amplifier could be true. The question is, what indications do we have that CO2 is indeed acting amplified when emitted? I never found one, but obviously this doesn’t imply there isn’t one. But it seems that the only evidence is that the models show it that way. But these models are designed to explain 20th and predict 21st century warming, based on the assumption that CO2 is a driving force. What you put in, is what you get. Note, I’m not cynical here, I honestly trying to get the physical basis for it.

    That is, if there is? The old Arrhenius calculations don’t, so what is it? This seems to me as The Key point. Then why is it never discussed? I must be missing something.

  37. Ian Blanchard
    Posted Mar 19, 2007 at 11:26 AM | Permalink

    I have raised the same point on the Channel 4 forum discussing the GGWS programme.

    If CO2 is such an imoportant climate forcing, how can temperature drops occur whilst CO2 increases.
    The only answer that has been forthcoming is ‘Milankovitch Cycles’, which obviously goes somewhat aginast the CO2 is king mantra
    I haven’t yet pointed out that Milankovitch cycles are actually pretty small in terms of direct effect (i.e. changes to direct radiation)
    and most scientists accept that some sort of feedback is necessary to amplify them
    (as an aside, I wondered whether the cosmic rays-cloud nucleation feedback might also have an implication here, where orbital chanced affect cosmic ray occurrences?)

  38. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 19, 2007 at 9:59 PM | Permalink

    A report on this debate at SCientific American here commented about Gavin Schmidt as follows:

    The proponents seemed underarmed for the debate and, not surprisingly, it swung against them, particularly when Schmidt made the fatal debating error of dismissing the ability of the audience to judge the scientific nuances.

    Yhe transcript of what seems to be the relevant section reads as follows:

    But Gavin Schmidt, you seem to suggest that the other side does not have a real scientific argument, but a culturally or politically constructed one. You dont think theyre sincere?
    GAVIN SCHMIDT Thats a very difficult question. I think’€”I’€” no, I, I do think that theyre sincere’€”
    BRIAN LEHRER You as much as said it.
    GAVIN SCHMIDT I dont think that they are completely…doing this on a level playing field that the people here will understand. And, there are…

    I guess that’s why Gavin likes to censor opponents over at realclimate.

    Here is one of Richard Somerville’s few attempts at a scientific explanation:

    Water vapor in the atmosphere, as predicted, is increasing as the world warms. This additional water feeds back. Its a greenhouse gas. It amplifies the warming. Its as though you had your house wired funny so that when it got warm the thermostat turned on the furnace and made it warmer still.

    If the earth is “wired funny” with these sorts of positive feedbacks, I, like many others, have trouble understanding why the Earth didn’t veer out of control into a permanent Icehouse or permanent Greenhouse. I is my understanding (based on a comment by Peter Huybers) that climate models that can get into an ice age can’t get out and vice versa. This seems consistent with some sort of problem with the feedback.

  39. Gaudenz Mischol
    Posted Mar 20, 2007 at 1:36 AM | Permalink

    After having read the transcript I have the impression, the pro side lost the case not because the contra side was so strong, but Gavin, Brenda and Sommerville were so weak in their arguments and talking: Brenda sounded just paniced, Sommerville did not make one clear point, Gavin was really very confusing, much to complicated for the audience to follow. The big mistake Gavin made was in my opinion when he, in the first sentence of his final statement, did nothing else than discredit his opponents. This is really very naive, but the same style as on

  40. Gaudenz Mischol
    Posted Mar 20, 2007 at 2:11 AM | Permalink

    Global warming is NOT a crisis

    Sorry, I mixed up pro and contra.., the contra side (Schmidt, Eckwurzel, Sommerville) lost the case, not the pro.

  41. Armin
    Posted Mar 20, 2007 at 4:32 AM | Permalink

    Ian (#37),

    I saw the discussion, and I summarised it as (copy pasted from RC posts)

    – There’s only a fixed amount of carbon that is mobile between the different components of the Earth system: atmosphere, oceans (hydrosphere), biosphere and lithosphere (surface rocks). So the process can’t carry on indefinitely.
    – Rocks (silicate rocks), in the long term, remove the CO2 out of the air with a reaction with rain. The warmer it gets, the more these chemical reactions increase (because it rains more when it gets warmer).
    CaSiO3 + 3H2O + 2CO2 turns into Ca2+ + 2(HCO3- ) + H4SiO4)
    – The warmer it gets (the ice-covered lands disappear and the more trees and plants appear. They absorb more CO2 from the air and transfer it by roots deep in the soil where it combines with water to make an acid “carbonic acid” which dissolves calcium silicate in rock to make calcium carbonate (notice the word carbon in carbonate).
    – Otherwise, co2 gets reduced during ice ages when the Earth’s orbit changes the amount of sun energy hitting at least the northern hemisphere during the summer in regular (pretty regular) three cycles of about 26,000 years, 41,000 years and 100,000 years (Milankovitch cycles). Cool the oceans, which can hold more co2 in solution.
    – In ice ages, the ocean currents often also get more active because of a bigger difference in temperatures between the poles and the equator and this allows even more co2 to be absorbed (subducted).

    But aren’t these all small effects and/or on a too long timescale? I mean, some of the longer timescale warming and cooling could per (at least partly) explained by things like this, but to call them the driving force for all variations makes no sense to me. That is, looking at

    one could argue that the Milankovitch cycles initiate warming and either CO2 follows or amplifies depending on your ‘side’, but this doesn’t explain things like the Little Ice Age, Medieval Warming and Holocene Optimum. So either you’d have to somehow ‘make these periods go away’ (see Hockey Stick and ), or accept there is another driving force of significant proportions.

    The AWG-team choose to indeed ‘make them go away’ or simply ignore the driving forces in the past stating that they are not relevant as be put more CO2 into the air as ever before. One itself this latter is true, but still you need to proof CO2 is indeed an amplifier.

    Because both sides are pretty muh sitting in the trench shooting at eachother, I though I’d look at the evidence that CO2 is an amplifier (or not). The morre I get into this, the more I fear there isn’t any evidence besides the (in)famous models. The only other on this topic I found is the old Arrhenius law, but they – as I understood it – actually show that CO2 itself is not a strong climate factor and requires feedbacks of which (according to IPCC) we know little of.

  42. Tom Vonk
    Posted Mar 20, 2007 at 9:27 AM | Permalink

    I also read the report and the impression didn’t go away .
    The impression of seeing something annoying and vaguely disgusting .
    The AGW priests at whose image RC was done are the worst pest for science in the history of mankind .
    For some strange reason their ability to cope with scepticism fossilised , they can only progress by discrediting as violently as possible every opponent , their beliefs became by decree Truth personified .

    They do a very , very bad service to science because the day , and this day is probably no more so far away , when all those “predictions” of computer runs will prove hopelessly wrong , the general public that they mislead today will hate all scientists tomorrow .

  43. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 20, 2007 at 9:42 AM | Permalink

    Tom, you should relax a little (a lot). They are annoying but hardly the “worst pest”.

  44. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 20, 2007 at 10:17 AM | Permalink

    RE: #38 – Being a veteran of debating Gavin myself, this is all par for the course. He attempts to belittle the opposition, displays totally un merited arrogance, and is either naively blind to, or, more likely, in overt denial of, key flaws in his thesis, which even the most rudimentary hard sciences and engineering analysis of the problem cannot help but to reveal. It’s painful to witness for me, but on the other hand, the masses seem to still lap the rubbish from the gutter, witness the ongoing mass hysteria and general acceptance of the mainstream media’s presentation of the issue.

  45. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 20, 2007 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

    RE: #41 – Everything you wrote is straight out of the Geochemistry of Natural Waters book I had for one of my undergrad geochem courses during the 1980s. And it reflected utterly proven and accepted science dating back even further. The Team and others of a similar mind fly in the face of salt-of-the-Earth, long established, irrefutable science.

  46. Armin
    Posted Mar 20, 2007 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

    Gavin has indeed a habit or being arrogant, but I still wonder if he deliberately misleads people (like my example in #36), or is simply sloppy. I think the latter also applies in case he’s not interested. And when he believes something not true, he also doesn’t try to understand it. I guess this is a tendency we all have, but as a scientist should try to fight. Still, I do believe he brings up good points on RC. One just needs to read through the “It’s been proven already, the other side is wrong” attitude.

    But I must fully admit I have no personal experience with him.

  47. Jim Edwards
    Posted Mar 20, 2007 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    Maybe Gavin was flustered because he expected to get a “mute” button at the debate so he could silence the Skeptics’ mikes until he could take a few hours to form a response to each sentence, or just pretend that Crichton, et al had never made any comments to the audience at all.

  48. fFreddy
    Posted Mar 20, 2007 at 11:05 AM | Permalink

    Re #44, Steve Sadlov

    the masses seem to still lap the rubbish from the gutter

    Although there are many who will continue to believe in AGW no matter what (like most of the RealClimate audience, one suspects), I think the vast majority of people only believe in this stuff because they are told, time and again, that all the scientists are agreed. I guess it says something good about our culture that there is so much trust in science, and something bad that the warmers have been able to pervert that trust so easily.

    Anyway, you have to believe that once it is more generally realised how threadbare is the supposed “consensus”, the problem will go away. Anything else is too damn depressing.

  49. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 20, 2007 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

    RE: #48 – Murphy was an optimist, as am I, to the same degree …. I find the current “perfect storm” of politicians, business leaders and main stream media chanting “tipping point” and “crisis” in unison highly disturbing. In a world of geopolitical and economic chaos, the masses felt they needed a group cause to identify with, and one has been found that relies on what I’d call “soft” (e.g. longer term, less physically threatening than going off to war, or out to colonize space, etc…) sacrifice. The cause resonates with a revolutionary zeal born 40 years ago and embraced by the demographic bulge who now have most of the power and wealth. Also, there is this strange synergy with the forces of globalization. Globalization has, oddly, resulted in a heightened sense of colonial guilt among those who live in Europe and North America. This guilt serves as something which those pushing AGW alarmism are exploiting to the hilt. We may have passed the “tipping point.”

  50. Mark T.
    Posted Mar 20, 2007 at 11:29 AM | Permalink

    And when he believes something not true, he also doesn’t try to understand it.

    Such as his comments regarding the concept of causality (cause must precede effect in nature, sorry, but it’s true) and feedback somehow generating a non-causal natural system. Causality is basic signal processing theory, one of the first things we learned. Another thing that we learned shortly thereafter, is that it is possible to _build_ a non-causal (wiki refers to this as acausal, btw) system when one has access to an arbitrary time index in the data. Such systems do not exist in nature.


  51. Tom Vonk
    Posted Mar 20, 2007 at 12:04 PM | Permalink

    Tom, you should relax a little (a lot). They are annoying but hardly the “worst pest”.

    Steve unfortunately to the contrary of most of you I am living in Europe and not US .
    And I can certify you that here a scientist even hinting at a possible problem with the AGW in public , will get crucified much faster than you can say “Wth” ?
    A friend Dr S.Galam teaching physics at Ecole Polytechnique (France) published an article where
    he voiced his doubts about the AGW – he had then actually been submitted to an internal trial where his ability to teach physics was questionned !
    There is really nothing that would relax me much and I am “lucky” that my field of work is only a cousin to “climate science”

  52. fFreddy
    Posted Mar 20, 2007 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

    Tom, my condolences.
    Why not do a French translation of the Great Global Warming Swindle and put it on YouTube ?

  53. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Mar 20, 2007 at 5:39 PM | Permalink

    Re: #41

    Ice/albedo would be a self-limiting positive feedback, at least on warming. As the ice begins to melt at the end of a glaciation, less sunlight is reflected to space and consequently more is absorbed leading to even more warming. Eventually most of the ice melts so further increases in temperature can’t decrease the amount of solar radiation reflected much because what little surface area is covered by the remaining ice is located at the poles where insolation is relatively low anyway. Unfortunately, the limit on the other end is total coverage, so something else must act to limit cooling. And the ice doesn’t start to melt by itself, there must be an increase in insolation. IIRC, the Milankovitch cycles can cause insolation changes of several percent, much larger than the calculated forcing from doubling CO2. I think when pressed, even the warmers admit that CO2 plays only a minor role in the magnitude of glacial/interglacial temperature cycles.

  54. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 20, 2007 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

    RE: #53 – Tie up water in continental ice masses, snuff out transpiration in the upper mid latitudes, expand / translate steppes, savanna and deserts southward toward the equator … that’d leave a mark! I suspect the end result is higher insolation due to fewer low, thick, wet clouds. Add on top of that a Milankovitch component and … bingo!

  55. Boris
    Posted Mar 21, 2007 at 11:47 AM | Permalink

    Lindezen says:

    The national academy evaluating this said, the methodology was no use beyond 400 years.

    Where does the NAS make this claim? This seems to be well off the mark

  56. MarkW
    Posted Mar 21, 2007 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

    I don’t have the text in front of me, but I believe what the NAS stated was more on the lines of confidence factor in the proxies
    drops off sharply when we go beyond 400 years. They stated that they had a lot of confidence in the data younger than 400 years.

    They didn’t say it was useless, just take care not to read too much into it when you do use it.

  57. dan
    Posted Mar 21, 2007 at 5:47 PM | Permalink

    What about Gavins claim that Lindezen’s work is old? Is Lindezen currently publishing on these issues?

  58. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Mar 22, 2007 at 2:33 AM | Permalink

    I find it curious that AGW supporters often cite Arrhenius’s work, but Lindzens work is too old …


  59. dan
    Posted Mar 22, 2007 at 5:54 AM | Permalink

    I’m new at this debate and not familar with the history, personalities and details. Does your statement mean that most of his work is old? What are your thoughts on the work of Pielke Sr & Jr?

  60. Reference
    Posted Mar 26, 2007 at 6:23 AM | Permalink

    Debate audio

    BTW Gavin Schmidt clearly does say “wrong” and not “drunk”

  61. Kahlessa
    Posted Mar 27, 2007 at 8:57 AM | Permalink

    I think I know where the “Global warming is a crisis” team lost some votes. It’s where Gavin Schmidt says:

    “Okay, this is exactly what I was talking about. You see? Now, it looks like were having a scientific argument, but, this is completely bogus. You dont know that its bogus, but I know that its bogus, he knows that its bogus. Youre being led astray.”

    The audience could finish the unspoken thought which was:

    “And you’re too stupid to realize it so I have to point it out.”

    Never imply that people are unable to understand something. They will take it personally.

  62. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 27, 2007 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

    RE: #61 – The attitudes espoused by Gavin and the rest of The Hockey Team are quite similar to those espoused by a number of elitist intellectuals described by Paul Johnson in his writings. They are itching to get their hands on the levers of power. They believe they know better how to run the world than you or I. Sadly, those who stand to lose the most by surrendering control to elites, the masses, no longer have a keen interest in real leadership and rights. So long as they get their bread and circuses, they are quite content to leave the running of the world to elites. A sad state of affairs, here, in the early 21st century.

  63. Jim Edwards
    Posted Mar 27, 2007 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

    I think Gavin came across better on audio than he did for me on the paper transcript. I suspect that’s at least in part because when I read I have to infer [poorly] his tone and I’m filling in based upon my negative perceptions from RC.

    I think where they lost, if anywhere, was when Brenda Ekwurzel of Union of Concerned Scientists was responding to the question, “…if this is a crisis, what kind of lifestyle change, what kind of economic pain, and how quickly are you proposing…to hedge our bets?” with “ASAP … As soon as possible because’€” … Everything, everything that we can throw at solving this climate crisis’€”well, this climate problem, is important…”

    Remember, the debate was about whether there was a crisis , not whether global warming existed.

    Ekwurzel’s comment was right after the price $558 TRILLION was mentioned, and it was clear that, contrary to what everybody’s been told through the media – there does seem to be a rational opposition to this idea that the sky is falling.

  64. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 27, 2007 at 11:41 AM | Permalink

    The recording is online now . I listened closely to where the transcript uses the word “drunk” – its about half way through – I used the transcript to orient myself. I certainly understand why the transcriber reported “drunk”, rather than “wrong”, which is what Gavin says that he said. What do others think?

  65. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 27, 2007 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

    Maybe he said “kerflunkt” …. nah, probably not.

  66. fFreddy
    Posted Mar 27, 2007 at 12:56 PM | Permalink

    I’ll believe he said “wrong”. But I’m a deaf old git.

  67. Mark T.
    Posted Mar 27, 2007 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

    They are itching to get their hands on the levers of power. They believe they know better how to run the world than you or I.

    They also cannot fathom why they, the intellectually elite, are not already controlling said levers.


  68. Sidviscous
    Posted Mar 27, 2007 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

    “The crisis in climate science has been first and foremost a near total collapse of scientific ethics in the conduct by the Team in the performance of their responsibilities.”

    Teh problem is most definitely not limited to the Hockey team. The problem is endemic throughout the whole of society.

    got into a minor discusion on GW with a friend. I asked him one question (since he was so concerened about the issue). What was the 20th century rise in temperature?

    His answer: 5 Degrees.

    No one (general populace) has any real knowledge about most issues, just opinions that have been repeated to them.

    Whithin the university system the move towards liberal and soft type science curicula (sp) and away from hard sciences is alos evidence of this. But you cannot go a day whitout some evidence of this, the lack of scientific ethics, and real science.

  69. Sidviscous
    Posted Mar 27, 2007 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

    Shoud have said Liberal Studies or Liberal arts. Talking about the curriculum, not the political business.

    And woof posts are quick now.

  70. Allan Ames
    Posted Mar 27, 2007 at 4:05 PM | Permalink

    Re: the o18/Co2 lag, my cross correlation (XC) of Vostok O18,CH4, and CO2 says that the O18 signal leads the CO2 signal by a highly significant 3000+ years, but that the CH4 and CO2 are in sync.

    Their autocorrelation functions are all different, suggesting separate mechanisms. I believe XC is a superior method of assessing time relations
    compared to eyeballing time series, but one must do interpolations which bring their own grief.

  71. Ralph Becket
    Posted Mar 27, 2007 at 8:31 PM | Permalink

    Listening to it, I’d lay money on Gavin saying “wrong”, not “drunk”.

  72. Kahlessa
    Posted Mar 27, 2007 at 9:00 PM | Permalink

    Listening to it, I’d lay money on Gavin saying “wrong”, not “drunk”.

    I’m inclined to give Gavin Schmidt the benefit of the doubt. I mean he’d have to be drunk himself to say something like that during a public debate. And it’s not like there aren’t other things he said clearly that one can challenge him on.

  73. trevor
    Posted Mar 27, 2007 at 9:01 PM | Permalink

    Re #71: Just as arrogant, just as offensive! That’s Gavin!

  74. Ralph Becket
    Posted Mar 27, 2007 at 10:48 PM | Permalink

    #73: It might be arrogant, but I don’t think it’s offensive. Gavin sounded far more reasonable than his blogging behaviour would suggest; maybe he’s just one of those people who are unnecessarily abrasive when communicating through a keyboard.

    IMO, the arguments arrayed against the Team boiled down to
    – the error bars in your data and models do not support your claims; and
    – your methodology has serious flaws.
    Unfortunately I didn’t hear any substantive argument addressing these points.

  75. Boris
    Posted Mar 28, 2007 at 6:19 AM | Permalink


    The attitudes espoused by Gavin and the rest of The Hockey Team are quite similar to those espoused by a number of elitist intellectuals described by Paul Johnson in his writings. They are itching to get their hands on the levers of power. They believe they know better how to run the world than you or I.

    What nonsense. Of course scientists understand science better than the general public. How that trranslates into some conpsiracy theory I can’t fathom.

    I agree that Gavin made an error–you don’t insinuate that you’re audience is not bright enough to understand. However, the issue is fraught with inaccuracies and downright deception on the contrarian side (You can start with Pat Michaels erasing Hansen’s scenarios in 1998 and work through the CEI’s “CO2 is life” campaign and even Lindzen’s absurd claim that the NAS said reconstructions are “of no use” past 400 years.)

    The proper strategy is to soberly point out the deceptions as they occur. That’s extremly hard to do in a fast paced debate, because you never know which deception will be wielded.

  76. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 28, 2007 at 9:53 AM | Permalink

    RE: #75 – You really need to read Paul R. Johnson’s writings. They are not conspiracy theory, how could they be, they cover actual events in the past. And the ugliness of the individuals who created them, or, stood by and did nothing.

  77. Mark T.
    Posted Mar 28, 2007 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    Of course scientists understand science better than the general public. How that trranslates into some conpsiracy theory I can’t fathom.

    He didn’t imply that scientists don’t understand science better than the general public, he explicitly stated they seem to think they can run things better than you or I. Understanding science does not equate to handling public policy in any fashion.

    The proper strategy is to soberly point out the deceptions as they occur. That’s extremly hard to do in a fast paced debate, because you never know which deception will be wielded.

    It is the Team, you know.


  78. Posted May 1, 2007 at 4:46 PM | Permalink

    #48 fFreddy: “Perverting that trust” is totally correct.

    #59 Dan: Lindzen’s work is mostly a couple years old (Not sure what he’s done that’s new, mostly he does op/ed stuff now that I’ve seen) The thing is that Arrhenius’ is much older. And Lindzen is alive 🙂 Arrhenius died in 1927. Haven’t paid too much attention to Sr but Jr is more a policy analyst and I think he has a lot of good ideas.

    #67 Mark T.: LOL! But obviously the answer is that they are not the intellectually elite, they just think they are! 🙂

    #74 Ralph Becket: That’s normally the case, in person they come off differently that when writing (and/or blogging and/or on the phone…) The problem is a lot of the time, their actual personality is what comes out when they don’t have to interact. But that’s probably why they lost, they had to do it real time, and they don’t sometimes understand the dynamic of actually interacting with people and that they don’t like it at all when you upset them.

    #75 Boris; There’s nothing conspiracy theory about how two groups diametrically opposed (or in other words, the world view they base their conclusions off of are at opposite ends of some spectrum) and how the emotional versus logical functions. Furthermore, the validity past 400 years is not as good, and it gets worse as time goes on. To my knowledge, Lindzen’s never said it was totally worthless. Just not as trustworthy.

    #77 Mark T: As a matter of fact, I’d argue even more so: Understanding science more than likely makes one unqualified and without the proper attitude to do public policy and should be kept away from it, at least as a general statement. Let’s see, um, you don’t hire a doctor to fix your plumbing, something along those lines.

    All: As far as the HS crowd goes, I don’t trust people that don’t understand why anyone would think there’s a problem with some of the issues on it. Not even from the standpoint of why it was in the TAR or not, just from how it’s constructed. And no, I’m not a scientist (well, not in climate-related matters) but I do know when it’s raining. It’s just that I have the ability to see and reason:

    1. It mixes two different measurments. Stick to temperatures or “tree rings, corals, ice cores and historical records” but not both.
    2. The error bars are pretty danged scary looking.
    3. Charting 1000 years on a small graph is not very fair, at least not compared to the 1880-2006 time frame. The sampling interval and compression throws it off (and see point number 1).
    4. Why 1000? Why not 10,000 or 1,000,000 or 100?
    5. The biggest problem; The graph is skewed. It only goes up to +.8 but all the way down to -1.3 Chart it on a scale of +/-2 and see what it looks like.
    Even better, chart it from 1880-2006 on that scale.

    It’s obvious to methe point of the graph, and the reason for its inclusion, regardless of how correct or incorrect it is or it is not.

    What else? The hoarding of the data, the time that can’t be spent on amateurs (unless it’s on a blog, I guess), the attitude, the hubris, the logical fallacies, the whatever. Plus the shifting terminology; is it CC, GW, AGW or what?

    I can say this though:

    “Based upon the Global Mean Temperature Anomalies from the GHCN-ERSST dataset from 1880 to 2006, 2002 was the highest above average it’s been during the period and 1893 was the lowest. The trend over the period is a rise of about .7 C and we are currently in 2006 at about .3 over normal, which is a drop since 2002. (Interestingly, that’s right about where the trendline hits). That is a .005 C rise per year, averaged over the period, or .05 C a decade. During that same period, measured amounts of CO2 at Law Dome and Muana Loa went from 290 ppmv to 377 ppmv, or a rise of 87”

    Now, it is very difficult to convince somebody to spend billions of dollars based upon that information, so it gets jazzed up. The trouble is, the people with the money aren’t easily going to spend billions of dollars on something that’s pretty vague in the first place, but the larger problem is when they know it’s jazzed up! (Hint to IPCC; stop being so obvious about it, and don’t put the information in your reports at all.) Why would the US Senate during Clinton vote 95-0 to not sign a treaty? Hmmmm…. Why was the PR blitz needed in Canada? Why is it so difficult to get traction? Because by and large, unless the PR (I’ll stop short of calling it propaganda) is continued over and over for a long enough period of time, nobody much believes it on their own, if they even care.

    But given all this, as soon as people start asking in a debate why the emperor has no clothes, there’s no answer for it. That’s why debate is stifled as much as possible. I think it’s pretty transparent and obvious.

    And that’s just my opinion. And no, I’m not saying we shouldn’t be mitigating and/or adapting to a variety of climate, energy policy, pollution and other issues related to it all, I’m just saying it’s not a crisis. We should certainly be trying to keep our habitat and environment well off regardless of the temperature or level of CO2 or number of clouds or humidity or reduction in amount of fossil fuels.

  79. bender
    Posted May 1, 2007 at 5:57 PM | Permalink

    2. The error bars are pretty danged scary looking.
    4. Why 1000? Why not 10,000 or 1,000,000 or 100?

    2. As wide as they are, they are IMHO hugely optimistic.
    4. Why not AD910? Because … the warming trend from AD910-AD990 was huge, and likely underestimated. And most people won’t question a round-looking number like 1000. Read the blog.

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